The Cosmic Trigger

On Sunday, March 14, 1976, a dispatch from Reuters News Service appeared in the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle and various other newspapers. This is the meat of it:

It sounds like the ultimate in fisherman’s tales but a new theory maintains that the earth was visited by a race of mermaid-like creatures from outer space 5000 years ago.

And traces of this super-intelligent civilization have been handed down from generation to generation among a remote African tribe….

This extraordinary hypothesis is the result of eight years‘ research by a young American Orientalist and astronomer, Robert Temple. His findings are in a scholarly book, The Sirius Mystery, just published….

The amphibious creatures, half-human, half-fish, traveled here from a planet near Sirius….

The story goes on to tell how the African tribe in question, the Dogon, have blown the minds of anthropologists by their minute and accurate knowledge about the system of Sirius. The Dogon, for instance, were aware that Sirius has a “dark companion,” a collapsed white-dwarf star, long before astronomers discovered this fact. The Dogon also described the companion of Sirius as immensely heavy. One cup of its matter, they said, “is heavier than all the grains of sand on earth.” This also is accurate, according to astronomy.

Temple, after investigating and confirming the accuracy of many other Dogon beliefs about the Sirius double-star system, says that the most logical way of explaining their knowledge (obtained, please remember, without telescopes or modern instruments) is to accept their claim that they were visited by extraterrestrials from the Sirius system about 5000 years ago.

The Reuters story adds that Temple also believes the Dogon are descended from the original founders of Egyptian and Babylonian civilization, and that accounts of the meeting with the Sirians are also found in Egyptian-Babylonian mythology.

The Starseed Signals

All of this was more interesting to me than to most other readers.

You see, for nearly three years now, I have had the intermittent impression that I can receive ESP messages from higher intelligences in the Sirius system.

I describe this as an “impression” rather than a “belief” because I am allergic to beliefs of all sorts. Nevertheless, the facts are extremely suggestive, as I hope to show you.

On July 23, 1973, I received my first strong sense of contact with Sirius. This occurred as I was waking in the morning and I immediately noted it in a “right-lobe diary” which I keep beside my bed. This diary records dreams, visions, gibberish-sentences formed between sleeping and waking, results of experiments in ESP and clairvoyance—anything that might be attributed to the intuitive, yin right-lobe of the brain rather than the linear, yang left-lobe.

The record in the diary says simply, “Sirius is very important.” That was all that emerged in verbal form after I had sat up in bed and groped for the diary and pen, but there was a strong impression that more, much more had already slipped away in the process of turning the neural gears from sleep to waking.

I had a deep conviction that this was a significant signal. In my experience with these matters, such a sense of importance connected with a dream-message often does indicate real right-lobe activity (precognition, ESP, or something spooky). This subjective sense of import continued all day. Eventually, that afternoon, I went to the library and began researching Sirius.

Among other things, I found that Sirius is about nine light-years from Earth, has the dark companion already mentioned, was instrumental in proving one part of the theory of relativity, is the brightest star in the sky, and was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.

I also discovered that July 23 was a day sacred to Sirius. Each year on that day, in the temples of Egypt, the priests began a series of rituals devoted to Sirius, rituals which continued until the end of August. The period from July 23 to the end of August was called “the dog days”—an expression which has come down to us through the Greeks—in reference to the Dog Star, Sirius. (Sirius is called the Dog Star because it is in the constellation of Canis Major, the Great Dog.)

I had a spacey feeling of having hit some kind of occult jackpot. The fact that I had received a message, concerning Sirius, on a day once sacred to Sirius, can be “explained” by the determined skeptic, of course. Somewhere in the past (this hypothetical skeptic would say) I must have read that July 23 is linked to Sirius, and my “unconscious” in a whimsical mood had used that knowledge to set up a seemingly dramatic coincidence.

This hypothesis did not make the experience any less interesting to me. The idea that the alleged “unconscious” (a crude Freudian metaphor for neural circuits not scrutinized by the ego-circuit) could program such effects is, after all, quite amusing in itself—especially if it’s happening to you.

The possibility, however remote, that I had really tuned in to some kind of interstellar ESP channel once used by the Egyptian magi was, of course, even more amusing. In fact, it was by far the most entertaining result I had obtained in seven years of keeping records on these silent-lobe experiences.

During the next month, August, 1973, my evening yoga sessions were interrupted several times by visions of Dr. Timothy Leary flying over the walls of Folsom Prison, where he was then confined. These images were clear enough and persistent enough to also get recorded in my right-lobe diary. I even mentioned them in an article on yoga, entitled “Serpent Power,” which was published in the Chicago Seed, September, 1973.

I had known Dr. Leary briefly in the ’60’s, objected vehemently to his imprisonment, and had even tried to communicate with him in prison, but had bogged down in bureaucratic red-tape. I did not begin communicating successfully, by mail and visits, until the spring of the following year, 1974.

In Terra II, published in January, 1974, Dr. Leary and Dr. L. Wayne Benner, also imprisoned in Folsom at the time, recount experiments they performed in August, 1973. These experiments began one week after my Sirius experience and continued until the end of the dog days. Leary and Benner tried to contact any Higher Intelligence in the galaxy which might be broadcasting on an ESP band. They received 19 messages, which they call “the Starseed Signals.” As good scientists should, they offered this as suggestive, rather than conclusive, and admitted that it might all be hallucination.

As soon as I read about this, I began to wonder about my own experiences during the dog days of 1973. The images of Leary flying over the prison walls—could that have been a flash of the mental flight involved in receiving the Starseed transmissions? To my astonishment, it turned out to be more specific than that. Leary and Benner (Benner told me later) had also experimented (unsuccessfully, alas) with levitation, and did attempt to fly over the walls. (Don’t laugh. If they locked you in Folsom, you might try equally desperate experiments.)

Neither Leary nor Benner got any impression that the Starseed messages came from Sirius. Nonetheless, they did obtain their results during the “dog days,” and my own signals seem to have been part of the same psionic channel.

If all of this isn’t coincidence….

Of course, it probably is only coincidence. But wait and see how hairy it gets.

Crowley, the Illuminati, and the Eye of Set

My first Sirius Signal, remember, came on July 23, 1973. The night before, July 22, I had performed a ritual from Aleister Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice, as part of a series of investigations into comparative shamanism or, as I also call it, experimental theology.

At the time, I saw no connection between the Crowley ritual and the Sirius signal, but….

Later that year, Frederick Muller (USA Imprint, Weiser) published Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, by Kenneth Grant. Mr. Grant is one of the four or five individuals who claim to be Crowley’s successor as Outer Head of an organization known as the Ordo Templi Orientis. The O.T.O., as it is abbreviated in occult circles, alleges that it has techniques which will allow the student to communicate with higher intelligences, usually called “angels.”

Grant, like Crowley himself and several other notable occultists, writes usually in hints and ambiguities, avoiding flat-footed dogmatic statements. Throughout Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, he alludes repeatedly to Crowley’s involvement with extraterrestrials from Sirius. Here is one such passage, and there are over a dozen similar to it:

Crowley was aware of the possibility of opening the spatial gateways and of admitting an extraterrestrial current into the human life-wave…. It is an occult tradition—and Lovecraft gave it persistent utterance in his writings—that some transfinite and superhuman power is marshalling its forces with intent to invade and take possession of this planet…. Crowley dispels the aura of evil with which [Lovecraft and Charles Fort] invest the fact; he prefers to interpret it Thelemically, not as an attack upon human consciousness by an extraterrestrial and alien entity but as an expansion of consciousness from within, to embrace other stars and absorb their energies…. The Order of the Silver Star is thus the Order of the Eye of Set, “the Son behind the Sun.”… The Silver Star is Sirius.

The Order of the Silver Star is the second degree of initiation, open only to those who have passed through the ten ranks of the Ordo Templi Orientis. In Crowley’s writings, and those of other occultists, it is also called the Illuminati or the Great White Brotherhood. But before going on to the multiple mysteries of the Illuminati, let us pause to note that the Egyptian name for Sirius, which is Sothis, means the Eye of Set. The All-Seeing Eye, framed either by a star or a triangle, was Crowley’s favorite insignia and appears in all of his works. Grant claims that Crowley’s occult tradition derives from the secret medieval lodges of Illuminati and alchemists, and goes back to the Egyptians and, beyond them, to the Babylonians.

Coincidence Squared

Some time after reading Grant, I came upon Gurdjieff: Making a New World, by J. G. Bennett. Imagine My silent glee when I came upon the following passage:

After Gurdjieff died I was asked by some of the old pupils to write a commentary on Beelzebub. When I had written a few chapters and sent them around for comment, almost all agreed that it would be a mistake to publish them. If Gurdjieff had intended his meaning to be readily accessible to every reader, he would have written the book differently. He himself used to listen to chapters read aloud and if he found the key passages taken too easily -and therefore almost inevitably too superficially—he would rewrite them in order, as he put it, to “bury the dog deeper.” When people corrected him and said he surely meant “bury the bone deeper,” he would turn on them and say that it was not “bones” but the “dog” that you have to find. The dog is Sirius the dog star, which stands for the spirit of wisdom in the Zoroastrian tradition.

Sirius again. Coincidence? Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, the book in question, concerns extraterrestrial Higher Intelligences who intervene repeatedly on Earth to accelerate evolution here. But, of course, that’s just a story….

Or is it?

J. G. Bennett, in another book on the Gurdjieff teachings called Is There Life on Earth?, claims that Gurdjieff was initiated in a mystic society, unnamed, which began in Babylon around 4500 B.C. Grant also traces the Crowley tradition back to Egypt and Babylon around that time. And the astro-nomer Temple, in The Sirius Mystery, claims the expedition from Sirius arrived about that time, about that place.

Coincidence squared.

Wait. There’s a lot more to come. In July, 1975, I published an article about all this in Gnostica. A few weeks later, I received a letter from Edward Gardiner of the Detriot Film Collective. Mr. Gardiner wrote, after referring to my article:

I just got back from the Fourth International Festival of Yoga and Esoteric Sciences in Dallas and several of the speakers there made reference to Sirius. Chief was Dr. Douglas Baker of London…. In his lectures on the ancient wisdom he mentioned that Sirius is the Ajna center of a greater being and Sol (our sun) is the Heart center. Our planetary evolution depends on our raising the energy from the Heart to the Ajna.

Trying to maintain some skepticism even after this, I told myself that, if people are going to develop delusions about stars, they would be likely to pick Sirius, which is the brightest and therefore the most notable star in the sky, and in the constellation of the Dog, “man’s best friend.”

Nevertheless, such is the repressed gullibility of even the most hardened skeptic, I also found myself wondering about new meanings in the ancient Zen riddle, “Does a dog have the Buddha Nature?” and the mysterious question in chapter 3 of Crowley’s Book of the Law, “Is a god to live in a dog?”

Contact with Sirius

Then Brian Hanlon, San Francisco UFOlogist, called my attention to a book called Other Tongues, Other Flesh, by George Hunt Williamson.

Williamson, an early 1950’s contactee, claims to have met some flying saucerites from Sirius. He prints vast huge chunks of their language—the “other tongues” in his title—and I found that a few of the words were identical with some words in the “Enochian” language used by Crowley and other magi of the Illuminati tradition.

Williamson also informs us that the Sirians have been in contact with Earth for “several thousand years” and that their allies here form a secret society, using as their symbol—guess what?—the eye in the triangle.

That is the symbol used by Crowley, the Bavarian Illuminati, and various others, including the Founding Fathers of the USA.

Of course, Williamson is “only” a contactee, and everybody knows that contactees are all wild-eyed kooks … or, at least, that’s what I thought before I became a contactee.

Yes, I was receiving other Sirius signals, at various times. No need to discuss them here, since I don’t believe any right-lobe phenomena literally, and since there’s only my word for this part of this story, which I can’t expect anybody else to believe. Besides, I’m trying to restrict myself, in this article, to things that can be documented and checked out by the skeptical reader.

The eye in the triangle, of course, is a key concept in the novel, Illuminatus, by Robert J. Shea, and myself. The mystic and cabalistic meanings of the number 23 are also prominently discussed in that book. Shea will confirm (as will other Playboy editors) that Illuminatus was written while Shea and I were both associate editors there, in 1969-71—that is, over four years before I received my Sirius transmission on July 23, 1973.

All this begins to have the flavor of what psychologist Carl Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli have named synchronicity. This word (it is hardly a theory in the scientific sense) labels the fact that persons involved in depth psychology or “spiritual” quests often become centers of what we might call huge clusters of seemingly meaningful coincidences. These acausal but spooky coincidences Jung and Pauli call “synchronicities.”

Synchronicity and the Number 23

That 23 is peculiarly synchronistic was first brought to my attention by novelist William S. Burroughs, in 1965. Although Burroughs has played with the number 23 in various of his writings, I don’t recall that he has ever published the story that first brought it to his attention, so I will tell the episode here, as I remember it.

In Tangier in the early ’60’s there lived a Captain Clark, who piloted a ferry between Tangier and Spain. One day Clark happened to mention to Burroughs that he’d been piloting the ferry for 23 years without an accident. That same day, the ferry sank, killing Clark and the whole crew. That night, thinking about this, Burroughs turned on the radio for the news. He heard that an Eastern Airlines plane, New York to Miami, had crashed that day, killing everybody aboard. The flight number was 23 and the pilot was Captain Clark. (Now you understand the refrain, “Captain Clark welcomes you aboard,” which appears, always with sinister overtones, in several of Burroughs‘ books.)

Ever since Burroughs told me that pointless but haunting story, synchronicities—in-23 have haunted my own life, climaxing in a sense with the Sirius connection of July 23, 1973. It was a joke, both on myself and on my readers, to include so many 23’s in Illuminatus, of course, but the joke has proven itself more subtle than I ever realized.

As soon as Illuminatus was published, people started sending me letters about weird 23’s in their own lives; and quite a few thought it worthwhile to inform me that the Morgan Guarantee Trust (an Illuminati hotbed, according to Birchers) is at 23 Wall Street. The most interesting of these communications came from an English flying-saucer journal, Fortean News, and was forwarded to me by a Mr. W. N. Grimstad of St. Petersburg, Florida. The context concerns some mediumistic contactees (persons allegedly in contact with extraterrestrial Higher Intelligence by means of a trance medium). Here’s the passage that I enjoyed most:

An entity that frequently communicated with the group called himself Jiro—a ludicrous appelation of the sort that seems common to many contactee accounts. The number 23 was communicated repeatedly both in the writings and through the medium, but the members of the group could never understand why. We listened to one tape that consisted of the medium’s transformed voice referring constantly to 23 and (phonetically) “Leer” (Lear, Leire, Llyr?)…. One entity claimed it came from Lehra or Lehar (Llyr, etc., again)…. The communications contain references to the numbers 666 and 33 (sometines 333) as well as 23.

Shortly after I received this tidbit, Dr. Leary wrote to me from prison that, during a visit with Ken Kesey, they had thrown the I Ching together and asked when Tim would be released from Durance Vile.

They received as answer Hexagram 23, “Breaking Apart.” (666, of course, is Crowley’s favorite number, the number of the Beast. 333 is the cabalistic number of “that mighty devil, Choronzon,” who afflicted the occult researchers Dee and Kelley and the 17th century and gave Aleister himself a rough time in Bou Saada, North Africa, 1909, as recounted in The Vision and the Voice, by Aleister Crowley. The number 33 has so many mystical meanings in Freemasonry that I could write a book about it.)

Mr. W. N. Grimstad, who sent me that clipping about Lear-23-666-333, mentioned in an accompanying letter that Florida anti-Illuminati groups (I assume he means Birchers) are spreading the theory that Illuminatus is a diabolical attempt to confuse the anti-Illuminati forces and that Shea and I are actually high-ranking Illuminati ourselves.

That did not surprise me; I had expected from the beginning that people of a certain cast of mind would regard a satirical treatment of the Illuminati theme as part of the Illuminati’s cover-up effort.

The Illuminati Conspiracy

I was, however, somewhat amazed by the following news release, which was sent to several magazines (where friends of mine immediately forwarded it to me):

Rev. Bob McElroy of San Antonio, Texas, today affirmed that the events central to the currently popular 3-volume novel, Illuminatus, by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, published by Dell Books, are true. McElroy’s statement follows:

During the sixties, I was an active member of … the Bavarian Illuminati…. I participated in an Illuminati raid on a Chicago radio station…. I maintained my position,(in the Illuminati) for more than ten years.

Much of the material in my file concerning the Illuminati will be shocking to the general public…. I am not worried about reprisals from the Illuminati. At the present time, their main wish is to keep a low profile. The only possible difficulty which I expect to encounter in my program to expose them is pressure placed upon editors and publishers…. I feel confident, however, that I will be able to find a publisher to expose the truth to the world.

I strongly suspect that the Rev. McElroy is, like Shea and myself, a bit of a joker.

Not so whimsical were a series of press releases from Mr. Kerry Thornley of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Thornley, it happens, is one of the inventors of the theology of Discordianism, which is ex-pounded at some length in Illuminatus; and Vol. I of the trilogy is dedicated to him (and to Mr. Gregory Hill, another great Discordian theologian). This dedication, it now appears, is unfortunate, because Mr. Thornley believes he has solved the John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., assassinations and is worried that his attempts to reveal the truth will be mistaken for a publicity gimmick to promote Illuminatus.

Any public statement by Shea and myself that Thornley’s charges are not a publicity gimmick for our book will, of course, only increase suspicions about that possibility.

I must point out that two weeks after Thornley first made his charges (to the Atlanta police) he was robbed, pistol-whipped and had his I.D. taken.

That “coincidence” is not funny at all.

Thornley served in the Marines with Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1967, he became involved in the Garrison investigation, which featured such stalwart conspiracy buffs as Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg and Allan Chapman of Texas (who believed the Kennedy assassination had been directed by the Illuminati).

Thornley and Garrison had a falling-out (to put it mildly), after which Thornley charged that Garrison was an unscrupulous demagogue and Garrison charged that Thornley was himself one of the assassination team. Harold Weisberg went further and charged that Thornley, who looks a lot like Oswald from certain angles, was the mysterious “Second Oswald” theorized by Professor Popkin and others.

Thornley now believes that Garrison was not unscrupulous at all, but genuinely misled. In fact, Thornley is convinced that he and Oswald had been set up long ago, perhaps as far back as their Marine Corps days. He believes that he and Oswald were both manipulated into moving to New Orleans in 1963, a circumstance that the real conspirators didn’t need to exploit after the assassination, but which they used to befuddle and confuse the Garrison investigators in 1967-68.

Among the persons Thornley accuses of framing himself and Oswald, and masterminding the real assassination, is an alleged Mafiosi whom I will call Mr. K.

Robert Byron Watson, a convict, has charged that he over-heard the plotting to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., in a shop in Atlanta in 1968. One of the men described by Watson matches Mr. K. in all respects.

Watson’s story has been investigated and pronounced worthless by the FBI. Black comedian-activist, Dick Gregory, who has also investigated Watson’s charges, says that he believes them.

One’s decision about this part of the mystery depends on whether one trusts the FBI or Dick Gregory.

Anyone wishing further information on Thornley’s charges should write to Kerry Thornley, PO Box 817, Atlanta, Georgia 30301. If you include $3 to cover to the cost of xeroxing, he will send you a copy of his affidavit to Congressman Wieckler, in which the whole matter is summarized.

And now we return to Mr. W. M. Grimstad, the man who sent me that provocative Fortean News clipping about the incoherent extraterrestrial 23-33-Lear-666 transmission.

More recently, Mr. Grimstad has sent me a tape, entitled “Sirius Rising,” in which he and another conspiracy buff named Downard set forth the most absurd, the most incredible, the most ridiculous Illuminati theory of them all. The only trouble is that, after the weird data we have already surveyed, the Grimstad-Downard theory may not sound totally unbelievable to us.

According to “Sirius Rising,” the Illuminati are preparing Earth, in an occult manner, for extraterrestrial contact. Part of the magical preparation, which only Illuminated Ones can understand, includes: (a) the founding of Cal Tech at the 33rd degree of latitude. (This was actually partially the work of aerospace engineer and occultist, Jack Parsons, an admitted disciple of Crowley.) (b) The assassination of John F. Kennedy at 33 degrees latitude, to fulfill the alchemical ritual of “the killing of the divine king.” (c) The firing of the Moon rockets from Cape Kennedy, again at 33 degrees latitude. (d) Arranging that the first man to walk on the Moon would be a 33rd-degree Mason, which Neil Armstrong, it so happens, was. (Mr. Grimstad and Mr. Downard seem to share the notion, widely held by anti-Illuminati buffs, that all 33rd-degree Masons are Illuminati initiates.)

I don’t believe that rigamarole myself, although it is similar to the kind of Cabalistic-numerological magick to which the Illuminati would be inclined, if they really exist. And the locations given are not all exactly on the 33 degrees latitude, although I must admit they are all close.

If you want to hear more of the Downard-Grimstad numerological evidence, write to W. N. Grimstad at PO Box 14150, St. Petersburg, Florida, and ask how much he wants for the tapes.

It is perhaps amusing to all of us to recall at this point that I originally got interested in the Illuminati, the assassinations and the extraterrestrials as subjects for a piece of satirical fiction.

Coincidence Cubed

A few more bits, weirder than what we have already seen, and we shall be finished….

Saul Paul Sirag and Dr. Jack Sarfatti are two of the brightest young physicists in the country, in my estimation. Curiously, or synchronistically, Dr. Timothy Leary shares that opinion and is plugging their new quantum theories in all his recent writings. Dr. Sarfatti was once the recipient of a series of phone calls from an alleged extraterrestrial. Probably a practical joker but….

Saul Paul Sirag, when Uri Geller was in these parts being investigated, once tried to “contact” Spectra, the alleged extraterrestrial entity that allegedly communicates through Geller and enables him to read minds and bend metal.

Geller said that Sirag could see Spectra, if he were properly attuned, by looking into his (Geller’s) eyes.

Sirag looked, and saw the head of a hawk.

What is provocative about that inconclusive experience is that Sirag didn’t know at the time, and only learned much later, that Spectra had previously appeared in hawk-form to Dr. Andrei Pujarich.

Dr. Pujarich’s encounter with the Spectra-hawk is described in his hook, Uri.

How many coincidences do we swallow before we decide that there is more at work than coincidence alone?

In Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law, allegedly dictated to Crowley by an entity from Sirius (according to Kenneth Grant), we find such passages as the following:

Ra-Hoor-Khuit bath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods. [Ra-Hoor-Khuit, in all Egyptian art, is always a hawk-headed god.]

Beware! Hold! Raise the spell of Ra-Hoor-Khuit! Now let it be first understood that I am a God of War and Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them.

Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child. But not now.

Ye shall see that hour, o blessed Beast, and thou the Scarlet Concubine of his desire! Ye shall be sad thereof. Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; fear not to undergo the curses. Ye, even ye, know not this meaning all.

I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me & are abased. [Crowley couldn’t understand this verse, when he received it in 1904.]

I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them! With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.

I am the Hawk-Headed Lord of Silence & Strength; my nemyss shrouds the night-blue sky.

The emphasis on Ra-Hoor-Khuit as “hawk-headed,” not just hawkish in general, is interesting in the light of Saul Paul Sirag’s vision of tile hawk-headed extraterrestrial in Uri Geller’s eyes. Sirag was not familiar with the above passages until I called them to his attention.

Crowley’s works are always hermetic, coded, inscrutable. Am I being over-imaginative in suggesting, possibly, that some readers have commited what Sufis call “the error of literalism” and are currently sacrificing “cattle, little and big,” in order to prepare for the apotheosis of the eighties when the Hawk-Headed Lord will cause the Earth to “cower … and be abased”?

The cattle-mutilations have covered 15 states by now and, unless we relapse into a supernatural explanation, the only plausible theory is that these sacrifices are the work of a large, well-organized and very disciplined occult organization.

The most interesting text in The Book of the Law to me, however, is the following, from Chapter 2, verse 21: “Think not, O king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily, thou shalt not die but live.”

Now follow this chronology: Saul Paul Sirag’s experience with the hawk-headed entity in Uri Geller’s eyes occurred in June, 1973. My first Sirius transmission followed in July, 1973. And in August, 1973, Dr. Leary and Dr. Benner, in Folsom Prison, received the Starseed transmissions, which included:

You are about to discover the key to immortality in the chemical structure of the genetic code, within which you will find the scripture of life. The time has come for you to accept the responsibility of immortality. It is not necessary for you to die.

We are sending a comet to your solar system as a sign that the time has come to look to the stars.

Comet Kahoutek passed earth four months later, December, 1973.

How far-fetched is the prophecy of immortality? Among recent writers who have suggested that science is on the brink of indefinite life extension are: sociologist G. Rattray Taylor, in The biological Time Bomb, physicist R. C. W. Ettinger in The Prospect of Immortality and Man Into Superman, novelist Alan Harrington in The Immortalist, science reporter Osborn Segerberg in The Immortality Factor, sociologist F. M. Esfandiary in Upwingers: A Futurist Manifesto, former Libertarian Party candidate for governor of New York, Jerome Tucille, in Here Comes Immortality, Saul Kent in Future Sex, etc.

A good brief summary of the current evidence is in the article, “Starseed Says You Don’t Have to Die,” in Fate magazine for March, 1976.

It is necessary to add here that Dr. Leary no longer believes literally that the Starseed messages came from a literal extra-terrestrial. Rather, he has a variety of complicated theories, all
too scientific and recondite to be summarized here, attempting to explain how such messages are generated. Dr. Sarfatti and Saul Paul Sirag are also non-literalists, as I am myself. I think there is more going on than “coincidence” but I have no dogma about what it is; I think Sirius is important to all this in some way, but not in the obvious way.

And I conclude with the following press release, which was put out by the Pappon for President Campoon in San Francisco:

The thing most feared by the people of San Francisco has come to its inevitable head. Office-workers and non-working executives in the prestigious financial district here were startled to see a huge doughnut perched atop the Transarmenia Pyramid Building…. No one seems to know why it picked the Pyramia to be its parking place, although one thing is certain according to Sur/Gen Zippo Klein, the foremost authority on the vehicle and its alleged occupants: “They won’t get a ticket up there…. I’d bet my shoes those are the Doggiez from Sirius, and only Grid knows what they’re planning up there….”

This was followed by a series of equally humorous memos about the “Doggiez from Sirius,” who are allegedly at large in our midst. This is all a joke, of course, just as Illuminatus was when Shea and I first conceived it. Probably, the Pappon people will think I am a bit over-imaginative if I suggest that none of us begin to understand what a joke is or where important ideas come from….




Since writing the above, I have received a copy of Robert Temple’s The Sirius Mystery from England.

The book will be published in this country shortly, I am told, and I suspect it will be some kind of bombshell. Temple is everything that Von Danikan isn’t—scholarly, cautious, honest, resolutely non-sensational, and very persuasive. He is not only a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society but has a degree also in Oriental Studies and Sanskrit. He is an intelligent scientist, writing for intelligent readers, not a hack trying to make a quick buck out of human gullibility; I think even the most skeptical will have to recognize his scholarship and sincerity.

Temple reprints, in full, an anthropological study of the Dogon, and their knowledge of Sirius is even more astonishing than the Reuters news stories indicated. For instance, part of their traditional lore states explicitly that the Companion of Sirius (a neutron star which is not only invisible to the naked eye, remember, but invisible to telescopes until only a few years ago) has a period of exactly 50 years. This has also been confirmed by recent astronomical studies of the Sirius system.

It does seem that, if the French anthropologists who collected all this data about Dogon beliefs are not a pair of hoaxers,* some explanation of this oddity is badly needed. If we resist Temple’s “logical” explanation (the Dogon are telling the truth in their claim that we were contacted by visitors from Sirius), we must hold that the Dogon are only “pretending” to be primitive; i.e., they secretely have had, for some centuries, telescopes and many other scientific devices as good as the latest scientific models of the past two decades! Or else, somebody in the ancient world had such advanced scientific equipment, and their knowledge was passed on to the Dogon. (Atlantis rises again?)
*This would be a scientific rarity, I believe. A few scientists have gone off the rails and faked data at times (e.g., Piltdown Man), but every case of this sort involves a lone individual, usually with a persecution complex and a desire for revenge against the establishment. Two scholars conspiring together on such a fraud is virtually unheard of.

Or we might opt for a parapsychological explanation; i.e., the Dogon witchdoctors are such hotshots at ESP and precognition that they were able to know (without physical contact) a great deal about the Sirius system before scientific astronomy did. This seems to bring us very close to the hypothesis which my own data suggests, and which I am very loathe to endorse totally.

Amusingly, much of Temple’s information has ramifications in areas which he himself has not explored. He has found, for instance, that the Bozo, a tribe neighboring the Dogon, also know about the Companion of Sirius and call it tono nalema (Eye Star). This is most suggestive when we recall Dr. Baker’s claim that the Sirius system is the “third eye” of the cosmic entity of which our sun is the heart, and George Hunt Williamson’s claim that the eye-on-the-pyramid is the symbol of the secret society which is in contact with Sirius.

Temple believes that the contact (which he tends to portray as physical, involving actual spaceships) occurred in Sumeria around 4500 B.C. The knowledge thus gained, he argues (and this is the major theme of his book), was passed on via various secret societies of initiates in the Near East, Egypt, Greece and so on, at least until the time of the 5th-century (A.D.) neo-Platonist, Proclus. Thereafter, Temple loses track of it, and suggests it petered out, although he mentions that offshoots of it appeared in “such bizarre and fascinating figures as Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, John Dee and even Sir Philip Sydney and the Earl of Leicester—not to mention the troubadours of Provence, Dante in Italy, and the massacred tens of thousands of Albigensians in France, the Knights Templar and an infinite range of hopeless causes over two and a half millennia….” Readers of my Illuminatus and Sex and Drugs will easily recognize that this tradition overlaps, or may even be identical with, the secret tradition of Tantra and sex magick in the West.

Similarly, Temple goes to a great deal of trouble to demonstrate that the phoneme, nu, wherever found in the ancient world, is part of the secret Sirius tradition. He is not aware that Nuit and Anubis, two figures he specifically links with Sirius, are still very much alive among those magical lodges currently working the Aleister Crowley system of contacting Higher Intelligence.

Every now and then Temple seems to be toying with the idea that the contact may not be by spaceship but some more subtle means; but he does not explore that possibility, despite the fact that all his evidence comes from shamans, mystics, occult initiatory cults and others whose main concern has always been the ceremonial expansion of consciousness.

Over and over, one wishes that Temple had read a little in modern occultism to supplement his seven years of research into the Egyptian and Babylonian mysteries. He spends nearly 50 pages demonstrating that, to the ancient Initiates, Isis was a symbol of Sirius and Osiris a symbol of the Dark Companion of Sirius; but he is not aware of Crowley’s and Levi’s insistence that the traditional secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries was that “Osiris is a black god”! Again, Temple demonstrates (from ancient records) that the familiar image of Isis, with a star above her and one of her feet in water and the other on land, is a symbol of the Sirius connection; but he is not aware that that image still appears at Atu XVII of the Tarot—which Kenneth Grant says Crowley told him was a symbol of Sirius. (Grant, The Magical Revival, Weiser Imprint, New York; see index under “Sirius” for this and other astonishing correlations.)

Temple even explains how the Dogon acquired some of the ancient Babylonian mystery tradition, clearly relating their origins to the birth of Egyptian culture. Two more bits of data have come to me recently. Alan Vaughn, a well-known West Coast occultist and editor of Psychic magazine, read a draft of this article and immediately phoned me in high excitement. Mr. Vaughn also had the impression of being contacted by Sirius in 1973—January, 1973, to be exact. Those who want to confirm this, or get more details, can contact Mr. Vaughn at Psychic, 680 Beach Street, San Francisco.

The second datum is most striking when we notice that, whether we approach the Sirius mystery from the modern end and work backward from Aleister Crowley, or start from the ancient end and work forward from the Egyptians, we continually collide with the mysterious and enigmatic history of Freemasonry. I recently acquired Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by General Albert Pike 33°. Standard references agree in considering Pike the highest initiate in 19th-century American Freemasonry. On pages 14-15, he says: “To find in the BLAZING STAR of five points an allusion to Divine Providence is also fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally, it represented SIRIUS, or the Dog Star.” This blazing star appears in every Masonic lodge, needless to say.

I conclude, for a while, with a thought from astronomer Temple, near the end of his Sirius Mystery:

I would even venture that we may be under observation or surveillance at this very moment, with an extraterrestrial civilization based at the Sirius system monitoring our development to see when we will ready ourselves for their contacting us. In other words, we may very possibly be allowed to control the forthcoming contact ourselves. One wonders what any possible amphibious extraterrestrials living at Sirius would think roughly ten years later (speed of radio transmission at speed of light—across ten light years means a ten-year lag) upon receiving news from some radio or television program at Earth mentioning a book just published about amphibious extra-terrestrials living at Sirius. Would they think that was their cue? If what I propose in this book really is true, then am I pulling a cosmic trigger?

I would prefer to think of a cosmic time-lock. The long tradition from Egypt via Knights Templar and Masons, etc., was part of it; Crowley’s work and Gurdjieff’s was part; Temple’s book is part; Uri Geller certainly is part; and this article is another part. Your reaction to this article—what you think and do and say after reading this—may well be another, cosmically important part.


GNOSTICA, Issue 43
The Cosmic Trigger
by Robert Anton Wilson appeared in Gnostica, Issue 43 (October/November 1977).